December 23, 2015

IECC 2015 – Lighting Controls

As we approach the new requirements for the new 2015 IECC – International Energy Conservation Code we will be faced with the challenge of interpretation more than ever. The sections for Lighting Controls has been simplified to either use an occupancy sensor or time-switch controls. Of course, the continuing challenge for mechanical and electrical room controls remains and appears to still need to be installed without automatic controls per NEC. However, the biggest challenge is under Section 405.2.1.1, paragraph 2 (under providing an occupancy sensor) which is a simple statement that states “Be manual on or controlled to automatically turn the lighting on to not more than 50 percent power.”

We would like to inquire with the rest of the country and other municipalities for the interpretation of this requirement. Is the code implying momentary switching such that in the case of a classroom, if 2 switches are used for 2 zones, that upon re-entry to a room that we engineers must force the users to perform a MANUAL ON scenario? We ask this question because if these are just normal toggle switches and the room is left with the toggle switches on, the user will re-enter the room and 100% lights will automatically come on with an occupancy sensor.

All commentary on the subject is welcome – please reach out to us via our contact page here!

By C. Darren Shultz, PE